How Long Will a Hen Stay Broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Barry Natchitoches, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Tennessee
    I had a hen go broody on December 1st.


    She has bad diarrhea that just will not quit. I've tried everything at this point that I know to do other than worm her (that's next), and she continues to have diarrhea.


    Since I figured it would not be safe, I took the two baby chicks that successfully hatched away from her at hatching. I know that is probably cruel to her, but I had to think about the health of the chicks. Both chicks are very healthy living in a brooder, and neither has diarrhea.


    But because I took her chicks away, she continues to brood. She cried so much when the last egg (which exploded) was taken away from her that we put a single egg underneath her, and frankly, it's been sitting under her for nine days now. We just don't want another baby (we live in the city and just cannot handle another baby chick), so we're going to take it away from her tomorrow and give her another egg to sit on.


    I'm just wondering: if we don't let her deliver a live chick AND keep it, how long will she continue to brood?
     
  2. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    why cant you treat her for worms.... its not like she is laying. and brooding in poo doesn;t sound fun at all for her. [​IMG]
     
  3. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I've had hens that would sit for months and months, it all depends on the hen. If you don't want her to continue, you may want to try breaking her of her broodiness - taking away her nest, locking her out of the nestbox, etc. Cold air on her bum is the key. A lot of people are sucessful with a rabbit cage. Now is probably a good time to try worming her, since she's not laying eggs. It usually took mine about a month to start laying again after going broody.
     
  4. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    I say.. and im no expert!!! to treat for worms and put those chicks back under her and take the egg away and see what happens. Hens will adopt a duck why not her own? Clean out the nesting box and or move her with her chicks? after a day take the egg and she will get over it.


    AGAIN NOT EXPERT.. NEVER TRIED, Blind leading the blind..
     
  5. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    Well, the chicks she hatched are now 9 days old and she won't recognize them as hers anymore and the chicks won't neccessarily know to dive under mama to get warm when they're used to the heat lamp providing wamth without them having to seek it out. Also, there's a good chance she may attack chicks that old as a threat to her nest or she may go for it, there's no way to know until you try, but I think it's too risky. [​IMG]
     
  6. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Tennessee
    Quote:I tried organic, microorganism filled yogurt first, but she would not eat any of the yogurt.


    Somewhere I read that Apple Cider Vinegar with mother would help; one tablespoon per gallon of water. That is supposed to be good for all the chickens. So now, all the chickens get a tablespoon of ACV with mother for every gallon of water, the broody included.


    But that didn't help.


    Then I went to the Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow for help.


    The Chicken Health Handbook suggested that her diarrheac symptoms best matched an illness that would be treated with neomycin. So I tried neomycin.


    The directions say to only treat with neomycin for five days. Which I did. And it hasn't helped. But one problem I face is that she is not drinking a whole lot while broody, and the meds were in her water. So I have considered giving her another five day regimen of the neomycin.


    Her diarrhea is very liquidy and brown. That does not match the description of worm infestation, at least not according to The Chicken Health Handbook.


    It is only out of desperation that I am even thinking about worming her. It can't be cocci**** (who can spell that disease, but you probably know what it is) because it would have already killed her. Besides, her diarrhea doesn't look like a hen wih cocci****, according to The Chicken Health Handbook.


    I have also been giving her scrambled eggs laced with 2 to 3 cc of liquid children's imodium. That hasn't helped either.


    So that is why I'm to the point of worming her, even though The Chicken Health Handbook says her diarrhea would not look the way it does if it were a worm problem.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  7. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Tennessee
    Quote:Surprisingly, she is the CLEANEST little hen...


    She will NOT do her diarrhea in the nest.


    She patiently waits until we remove her from her nest once a night to put her on a huge piece of cardboard. (I've been hitting all the home improvement stores in the area, gathering enough large boxes to give her a new piece every night.) Then, within five minutes of being placed on the cardboard -- which is in a different room from her nest -- she lets out her loose stool.


    She then allows us to use baby wipes to clean her backside, and as soon as we are finished, we bring her back near her nest and she walks on in to sit on her egg again.


    She is such a wonderful little hen and momma-to-be...
     
  8. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    Man I hope someone read your thread that has an answer.... I hate that she is having a rough time of it. I also know that feeling of helplessness and that sux!! So maybe another post on this thread will get the attention of someone who has some good ideas.

    Kind Regards
     
  9. FortWorthChicks

    FortWorthChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Fort Worth
    She sounds pampered.... good for you. Just wish she wasn't ill!
     
  10. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Here's a link to a "poop page." Hopefully you'll be able to get an idea about what is going on from that. It sure won't hurt to worm her and as others have said, this is a good time since she's not laying now anyway. Brooding is hard on their systems so since you don't want any chicks I'd also work on breaking her as soon as possible.

    The only other thing I can suggest is to try some canned pumpkin for the diarrhea. I haven't used it for a chicken yet, but it works great on kittens (I foster,and they often come to me in pretty bad shape) puppies, goats, and cows. In anycase I don't think it would hurt anything.

    I just thought of this--Are you sure she has diarhhea and it's not just "normal" nasty broody poop?

    Best of luck with her!!

    http://happyhenhouse.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=poop&action=display&thread=7588
     

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